War Trials and Future Peace

September 7, 1948

Report Outline
Trials of War Criminals After World War II
Legality and Justice of Nuremberg Trial
Effect of Trials on Organization for Peace

Trials of War Criminals After World War II

Five Years ago this October, President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and Premier Stalin joined in noting the “ruthless cruelties” of the enemy, and declared: “Let those who have hitherto not imbrued their hands with innocent blood beware lest they join the ranks of the guilty, for most assuredly the three Allied powers will pursue them to the uttermost ends of the earth and will deliver them to their accusers in order that justice may be done.”

Now, three years after the close of World War II, the last of the verdicts on major enemy war criminals are about to be handed down, The Tokyo judgment on former Premier Tojo and other major Japanese criminals is scheduled for announcement before the end of October and final judgments on major Nazi criminals are expected in a matter of weeks. Leaser war criminals by the thousands, in tribunals of every Allied nation, have been given trial and received sentence. Trials of lesser war criminals are still in progress, but with each day the number of those yet to be dealt with is reduced. By the end of 1948 the great task of trial and punishment will be substantially completed.

Never before in history has the judicial process been used so extensively by the victorious powers at the end of hostilities as a part of the settlement with the enemy. Never before has the planning and waging of aggressive war been made punishable as a crime. Never before have individuals, including the heads of states, been held responsible to the international community for crimes against the peace.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Ethics in War
Sep. 16, 2022  The War in Ukraine
Jul. 13, 2012  Privatizing the Military
Aug. 06, 2010  Drone Warfare Updated
May 2010  Confronting Rape as a War Crime
Jan. 2010  Truth Commissions
Feb. 27, 2009  Closing Guantánamo Updated
Jul. 2008  Child Soldiers
Sep. 2007  Torture Debate
Aug. 25, 2006  Treatment of Detainees
Apr. 18, 2003  Torture
Dec. 13, 2002  Ethics of War
Sep. 13, 2002  New Defense Priorities
Jul. 07, 1995  War Crimes
Apr. 26, 1972  Status of War Prisoners
Oct. 07, 1970  Military Justice
Jul. 12, 1967  Treatment of War Prisoners
Dec. 03, 1952  War Prisoner Repatriation
Sep. 07, 1948  War Trials and Future Peace
Jul. 07, 1945  Enemy Property
Nov. 20, 1943  Courts-Martial and Military Law
Mar. 15, 1943  War Guilt Trials
Mar. 30, 1942  War Atrocities
Feb. 02, 1942  Prisoners of War
Aug. 11, 1938  Aerial Bombardment of Civilian Populations
Global Issues
International Law and Agreements